Zdravko Tolimir Sentenced to Life Imprisonment for Srebrenica and Zepa Crimes

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Trial Chamber II of the International Criminal Court for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) today sentenced former Assistant Commander and Chief for Intelligence and Security of the Main Staff of the Bosnian Serb Army Zdravko Tolimir to life imprisonment.

Tolimir was found guilty by the Majority of genocide, conspiracy to commit genocide, murder as a violation of the laws or customs of war, as well as extermination, persecutions, inhumane acts through forcible transfer and murder as crimes against humanity. Judge Nyambe dissented. Tolimir was found not guilty of the crime of deportation as a crime against humanity.

Tolimir was charged with the commission of crimes through participation in two joint criminal enterprises. The aim of the first was to murder able-bodied Bosnian Muslim men from Srebrenica between, approximately, 11 July and 1 November 1995. The aim of the second was to forcibly remove and deport the Bosnian Muslim population from Srebrenica and Zepa between March and August 1995.

Tolimir had defended himself throughout the trial. He argued that the killings at Srebrenica were part of a military operation against terrorists, rather than a massacre.

Judges described Tolimir as the ‘right hand’ of Ratko Mladic, who remains on trial at the ICTY, as does political leader Radovan Karadzic.

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